Can make outlet switched while keeping light always on?

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Old 02-21-12, 03:10 AM
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Question Can make outlet switched while keeping light always on?

Is it possible to make one or both outlets switched via the lightswitch. Switch off = outlets off. Switch on = outlet on while having CONSTANT POWER ON the ceiling light? My garage door opener is plugged into the ceiling light (via adapter) and it should always be on so I can get in my garage.

The BLUE WIRE (D) is the live one. It's line. When I disconnect it the ceiling light loses power. Why is this not wired so that blue wire (E) connect to the brass on the load side BOTTOM outlet (where there is nothing now)?

 
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Old 02-21-12, 03:34 AM
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Garage door openers must be on it's own circuit and not plugged into a light circuit. It would be too easy to run a circuit to a dedicated receptacle in the ceiling of the garage and not have to do the other stuff you propose. IIRC you have conduit running throughout.
 
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Old 02-21-12, 11:42 PM
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My garage is directly below my living unit so there is no easy access I know of through the floor. I do know the garage has 2 sheets of drywall on the ceiling. All electrical is in conduit with no ground at boxes but all 3 prong outlets.

Garage has just ONE outlet and a light switch. I live outside Chicago.
 
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Old 02-22-12, 04:04 AM
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GFI receptacles cannot be split wired like a regular duplex. The power feeds internally through the circuit board inside to the load screws.
 
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Old 02-22-12, 01:40 PM
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You have Conduit which means you can easily fish a new circuit through.
 
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Old 02-22-12, 09:50 PM
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I am not an electrician but I think I have a solution for you if I understand your question right. You want a plug near your light switch or am I wrong about that. If I am right though you can install a combination plug/light switch. I rent a house that at one time my cousin rented and he wanted a plug right where the switch was. Well I didn't want to put a box in so I installed the combination plug/light and my cousin was very happy as that was all he needed. It sure is easier than running wires all over the place
 
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Old 02-22-12, 10:46 PM
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Well what if I had the switch turn off the power totally on both plugs on the GFCI while having constant power to the light fixture overhead?

If not I guess I could put in a combo swtich/single outlet. Seeing that the GFCI is too deep and wide for the outlet box anyway I'd have to do one of the following:

-- tear out that box and put a deeper one in
-- put a metal extender on the box and have everything protrude 1/2" past the drywall
-- buy a GFCI 15A breaker and put it in the breaker box

It seems that few things have been easy for me in that garage! Eh, but when it was built 40 years ago I guess things were way different. I'm SO jealous of my brother's house. He has a separate breaker box in his gargage I think one is even 40A. In the house he has 20 breakers in the box and it's wonderful. I have all of 7 breakers.
 
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Old 02-22-12, 11:13 PM
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One other thing to think about that I just thought about is having a GFIC circuit breaker. That is usually where I call in an electrician and I have him put in breakers like that. He could also put in a whole house surge protector at the same time to protect everything.
 
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Old 02-23-12, 12:08 AM
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Well at the moment I'm without work so I can't hire anyone to do any work. But I'm here to learn from you guys as much as possible since it seems most people here know electrical stuff like mad.
 
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Old 02-23-12, 12:15 PM
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Here's my solution. Buy a spool of black, and a spool of white #12 THHN, and a GE 20A breaker. Fish the black and white conductors through your conduit, alongside the current wires. Once at the ceiling, install an extension ring, a short nipple to a second box with a GFCI. Leave the current wiring alone.
 
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Old 02-23-12, 12:22 PM
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No need to call an electrician to install a GFCI circuit breaker if you are carefull and turn off the main breaker first.

Maybe I read the thread too fast but am I correct power comes in to the GFCI receptacle first then through a switch to the lamp holder which has an adapter to plug the G/O in? You want the GDO always on.

Here is how I would do that. Note temporarily only not code.

At the ceiling at about six inches from the light fixture add a box and receptacle. Just be sure you are using space within the same joist space.If code requires conduit you may need to remove a bit of Sheet rock to add a nipple between the two boxes.

Replace the original lamp holder with a pull chain lamp holder.

At the GFCI remove the switch and wire the two wires to the ceiling directly to the overhead.

To have the light controlled from the (people) door jus fasten a long string to the light pull switch and run throgh screw eyes to the door.

May not meet code but should be safe as a temporary fix till you can afford to bring it up to code.. Of course best is to run a new circuit from from the breaker box for the GDO. If you have conduit you should be able to do that yourself. If theses are the only devices on the circuit the conduit may run all the way to the breaker box uninterrupted.

To test that disconnect the "hot" wire from the breaker. Disconnect the "hot"wire at the garage box and tie a string to it. Have a friend watch as you try to pull the wire at the breaker box. If it moves apply wire lubricant and see if you can pull the string all the way through. If so you can then use the string to pull the old wire plus two new back in. The two new, black and white, would go to a new breaker. You may also want to pull in a ground.

You could also do a multi-wire circuit which would mean you do not need a new neutral, just a new hot. In that case the existing single pole breaker would be replaced with a 2-pole breaker.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 01:04 PM
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"...power comes in to the GFCI receptacle first then through a switch to the lamp holder which has an adapter to plug the G/O in? You want the GDO always on."

Correct. And I don't have a people door to my garage so every time I go in the garage I hit the clicker to open the 1-car garage door.

I don't need to have a light at the ceiling to flip on/off from where the garage door opens so I like your idea of directly wiring the ceiling with a pull chain fixture. When the garage door opener opens two 100 watt bulbs come on for 5 minutes. If I need it on longer I just move my leg in front of the beam and it goes on 5 more minutes.

EXISTING SETUP
power coming down one conduit
into gfci
into light switch
going up another conduit into celing light fixture

CHANGED TO:
power coming down one conduit splitting into each of the following:

going up another conduit into celing light fixture
into light switch dead ending into the gfci outlet



So by looking at my drawing below (of the EXISTING) could someone draw a way to wire up the CHANGED TO way?

 

Last edited by nibroc; 02-25-12 at 01:22 PM.
  #13  
Old 02-25-12, 03:15 PM
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Does this help you? The line to the light would be conected to the unused screws on the ceiling receptacle. At the receptacle the original plate would be replace with a duplex blank on one side Decora on the other. I see no reason to switch the first receptacle.

 

Last edited by ray2047; 02-25-12 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 02-25-12, 04:49 PM
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If you go with Ray's suggestion, you can also use a porcelain lamphoulder with a built-in 5-15 receptacle and pull chain.
 
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Old 02-25-12, 07:02 PM
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you can also use a porcelain lamphoulder with a built-in 5-15 receptacle and pull chain.
Actually that is simpler then my original suggestion. Good idea, Justin.

 
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Old 02-26-12, 04:00 AM
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Just looked at that lamp holder. Why are they rated at 660W? Is that just for the bulb or for the socket too? Seems the socket should be rated for, what, 15A and 1,500+ watts right?

Cooper Wiring 667-SP 2 Pole 3 Wire Ceiling Piece Lampholder #6530240 at HardwareAndTools.com

Ray, NICE diagram! How did you make that? I'll respond more tomorrow when I'm more awake.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 05:16 AM
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660 watts should be the maximum rating of the lampholder and the receptacle is rated at 15 amps.
 
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Old 02-26-12, 08:13 AM
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NICE diagram! How did you make that?
I used Gimp for transparency and layers, Kolour Paint (KDE equivalent of MS Paint) for drawing and lettering, and IRFanView for cropping and sizing. It could all be done in Gimp but I find some things easier to do in other programs just because that's where I first learned them. I have over the years built up a file of presized transparent electrical component images that I just paste as layers so it isn't that hard.

However if you just use simple geometric forms such as rectangles and circles to repentant the components instead pictures it could all be done in MS Paint. (I'm guessing here that they still include Paint with Windows.)
 
  #19  
Old 02-29-12, 02:56 AM
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Justin -- last night I installed the item you suggested and it works great. I used the pic Ray provided and showed it to the hardware store guy.

Ray -- could you look at my drawing and yours again? So I should cut that blue wire (in my drawing) so blue into outlet line and another blue out load to the light switch? Tomorrow I'm installing the GFCI. I bought box extensions too. All different depths since the current box is only 1.5" deep. But it seems there is room behind it so maybe I'll install a deeper box. Bought on of those too.
 
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Old 02-29-12, 07:41 AM
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Ray -- could you look at my drawing and yours again? So I should cut that blue wire (in my drawing) so blue into outlet line and another blue out load to the light switch?
My drawing was for no light switch. Why do you need a light switch?
 
  #21  
Old 02-29-12, 12:46 PM
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I'm a dummy sometimes. It was there so was gonna just put the light switch back. But after thinking about it...you're right! But then there will be nothing there in that space. Could I just buy another outlet and put it there? One of those newer square ones like the GFCI but cheaper decorator outlet:

15A Decorator Outlet at Menards

It's $1.19 and will fill that space. Aw rats looks like that would mean I need another white wire. Does this seem right?



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

I'm going out to the garage now to mess with it. Gonna have some fun bumping that box out via a new metal face plate. Then the carpentry to put wood frame around it since I will have tore up a bit of drywall to get the current metal face plate out of wall....
 

Last edited by nibroc; 02-29-12 at 01:31 PM.
  #22  
Old 02-29-12, 01:29 PM
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From post #13:
At the receptacle the original plate would be replace with a duplex blank on one side Decora on the other. I see no reason to switch the first receptacle.
If you use a duplex Decora plate you can use a blank to fill one side of the decora plate. Example: Leviton 80414-A Blank Decora Insert , Almond
 
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